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Lean in the Financial Industry

Delivering exceptional customer experiences.

In a Lean service enterprise, processes are customer-centric, services flow smoothly, and employees work together toward operational excellence.

In today’s competitive world, banks and financial institutions must now follow the same rule as industrial corporations: produce services efficiently, reduce response times and cut operating costs. To accomplish this, it is necessary to drive change simultaneously in the three core areas of people, processes, and planning. Lean principles address each of these areas.

Lean principles can make operations in any business better, faster, simpler, and less costly, but translating and synthesizing the principles and tools of lean into a sustainable lean transformation is a major challenge in any service organization. Productivity consultants have helped finance, insurance and leasing enterprises worldwide instill lean changes with lasting results.

By learning how to manage flow visually, balance resources, and shorten lead times, our clients have saved time and money. Most importantly, they’ve become customer-centric and highly responsive, boosting both customer and employee satisfaction, and gaining market share.

We also have created specific training material for the financial environment and coached managers through project management. Some of the assignments we have completed in the Financial Sector include these back office and front office process improvements for banking and insurance:

Retail Banking Back offices

Lean implementation support through training and lean project management

  • Improvement of the Mortgage Administration process in order to decrease response time.
  • Reliability and productivity improvement in international and domestic wire process with high demand variablity.

Corporate Investment Banking

  • Reorganization of the department in charge of data collection and management (the “Golden Source”) to decrease response time to the traders and improve data reliability in relation to compliance.

Leasing Solutions

  • Improvement of the administrative processes to decrease response time.
  • Support to management for Policy Deployment.

Insurance

Lean training and implementation for regional back office teams.

  • Claim management process: reduction of process lead time.
  • Corporate contracts (industrial risks) management process, with the target of increasing number of contracts.
  • Change management in IT department: lead time reduction.

Fleet Management

Lean training and Lean implementation in all operations departments and in sales.

  • Productivity improvement of the sales team, with the target of doubling prospect conversion rates.
  • Fraud management process.
  • Improvement of all Operations processes.
  • Support to the Management Committee in policy deployment and management education and coaching.

Affinity Insurance

Lean training and Lean implementation in all corporate departments.

  • Operations: visual flow management in all departments (registrations, claim management for telecom teams, for bank back-office teams, etc…)
  • Call Center efficiency: reduction of customer response time
  • HR: reduction of recruitment lead-time
  • Finance: improvements in the financial reporting process, support to the Financial department to build flow management in all areas.

Case Study

Call Center

Company: Major European Insurance Organization

Length: 2 Years

Objectives: Establish and optimize call center process flow

Major Project Activities:

  • Training in DMAIC process, Lean principles and 5S
  • Identified key performance indicators and performance review process
  • Established a high-performance (team-based) organizational structure
  • Determine, document, and communicate standard work

Key Outcomes: 

  • Reduced document stock 45%
  • standard work established and practiced
  • problem solving process established and used
  • team members cross trained in multiple department functions
  • increased overall productivity +20% in first 3 months and +40% to date

Read More:

Managing complexity at a major insurance broker

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